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Awakenings Prologue, Origins, Page 3

In one corner sat a wooden desk with a kerosene lantern along with a wooden chair. Other than being covered with dust and cobwebs, this room was in a remarkable state of preservation. The walls and ceiling were lined with what appeared to be some kind of hardwood. The floor was covered with tightly joined cobblestones. The wood was not rotted; it was obvious that moisture was not a problem in this chamber. A bookshelf beyond the desk beckoned with several rows of ancient appearing leather bound tomes. Joannes Agricola - Treatise on Gold was visible on the shelf, as were works by Aesch-Mezareph, with Hebrew looking script. There were many more that Joe had no clue of who the authors were or even the significance of the title.

desk in the tunnelJoe approached the old desk and, with great care, slowly pulled up the front cover, to reveal stacks of paper bound into volumes by rawhide stitching. Joe approached the old desk and, with great care, slowly pulled up the front cover, to reveal stacks of paper bound into volumes by rawhide stitching. Reaching into the desk he carefully flipped back the dusty cover of the top volume to reveal beautiful neat handwriting that looked like it was done with a quill pen. In the dimness of his flashlight he could make out the words Zinfandel Rosarium Clairvoyance.

Closing the desk, Joe walked back to the racks of dust caked bottles that lined the walls. He could see that all of them had tops coated with wax and were stored at an angle in cradles much like wine bottles. Reaching for one on the end, next to some empty spaces, he lifted it up and wiped the dust off, noting that it was filled with a liquid. A paper label was fixed to the side with the words Zinfandel Rosarium Clairvoyance in the same handwriting as that of the notebook.

About then, the batteries of his flashlight signaled their age by the light dimming, and Joe grabbed the bottle, and left the chamber, closing the inner door behind him. Joe made his way the 1/4 mile or so back to his house.

Upon returning home, he could see that it was very late, and he needed to get to bed. But first his curiosity focused on this bottle that he had brought back with him. Turning the bottle, he could see that it was dark green of hand blown glass with only a little bit of sediment evident. The yellowed label contained only the words Zinfandel Rosarium Clairvoyance and the year of 1872. Being a winemaker, his curiosity then took total control and he pried back the wax to find a cork that seemed in good shape. To be careful he pushed the prongs of an ah-so along side the cork and managed to extract it with a single twist. Pouring the contents into a glass, he first noticed a deep brown tinge. Joe placed his nose over the glass and on first sniff noticed and very faint but fleeting odor of fruit. On the second sniff he could only detect an earthy vinegar odor. Taking a cautious sip, he tasted a very weak watery earthy tone with a hint of vinegar, not a great wine, but not offensive. Now that the bottle was open, he decided to pour himself a full glass to further explore this wine, which was beginning to suspect was from his great grandfather. On the first full sip he noticed a weak garlic taste that then was overcome by a walnut taste. As he finished the glass, his thoughts focused even more on his distant ancestor.

Placing a stopper in the bottle and placing it in his wine refrigerator, he got ready for bed and crawled into the covers next to his sleeping wife. As he nodded off to sleep, he began to dream, and Joseph Gambaro's life was forever changed.

Read Chapter 1 of Awakenings...